Egmont set for BEA US launch

<p>Egmont USA is to launch its first children&#39;s list at Book Expo America this week as a showcase for 15 titles that will be published this autumn. The list is largely home-grown but includes such UK titles as<em> Sir Charlie Stinky Socks</em> and the <em>Really Big Adventure</em> by Kristina Stephenson and Mike Wilks&#39; <em>Mirrorscape</em>, as well as co-acquisitions between the UK and US.</p><p>Egmont&#39;s move into the US follows that of Walker Books, Bloomsbury, and most recently, Macmillan. Egmont UK managing director Rob McMenemy said the decision to launch in the US &quot;came out of an awareness that authors we publish such as Jenny Nimmo and Frank Beddor were going on to become huge stars in the US, but we didn&#39;t have the US publishing rights&quot;.</p><p>The UK and US teams will work closely with a view to acquiring globally. He added: &quot;We have a virtual team spanning the US and UK which works very closely together, both reading manuscripts&nbsp; and acting as scouts for each other.&quot; Pam Bachorz&#39;s Candor was the first joint acquisition for Egmont UK, USA and joint venture company, Hardie Grant Egmont in Australia.</p><p>The launch list includes two picture books, six core fiction and seven YA novels, chosen from more than 350 manuscripts.</p><p>Egmont USA executive vice-president Doug Pocock said: &quot;Our focus is on creating quality fiction from middle grade through to YA. We&#39;ve noticed a real increase in strong fiction for teens but we remain committed to building a balanced list and are seeking exciting projects in each category.&quot; <br />The company will publish 30 to 40 original titles each year. </p><p>The US office has a core team of eight staff including publisher Elizabeth Law and executive editor Regina Griffin, with support from freelance staff. Random House will handle sales and distribution.<br />It will take several years for the US venture to contribute to the bottom line, said McMenemy. </p><p>He added: &quot;We have entered the market for the long-term and we are only just in the development phase for the list and the business. </p><p>&quot;An investment of this scale will always take some time to pay back and we do not expect profit for a few years yet.&quot;&nbsp; <br /></p>